GAUTENG:210508 Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride arrives at the scene of xenophobic clashes in the Ramaphosa informal settlement outside Reiger Park on the East Rand, Tuesday, 20 May 2008. Fresh clashes between a local mob and the police erupted minutes after McBride's arrival. Police opened fire with rubber bullets, wounding three men. In retaliation, rioters went back on the rampage, setting a truck on fire and torching shacks. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

* This story has been updated.

Cape Town - Parliament is all but certain to appoint Robert McBride as head of the watchdog Independent Police Investigative Directorate after the portfolio committee on police backed his nomination for the post on Wednesday.

The ANC outvoted opposition parties on the committee who had vehemently opposed McBride's nomination. They argued that the former Umkhonto weSizwe bomber's past brushes with the law had rendered him wholly unsuitable for the post.

But Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told committee members he had  full confidence in McBride and believed under him Ipid would "dispel the perception of impunity in the police" which had damaged its image.

The watchdog body has been without a permanent head for more than a year following the departure of Francois Beukman. - Sapa